January 3, 2011
The Dilemma of Generosity
So, I got a phone call from one of my friends yesterday. Apparently, my 6 year old daughter had given her daughter a gift bag full of all kinds of fun things: paper snowflakes, a penguin coloring page, some sequins and a ten dollar bill. That last item was the reason for the call. We decided that she probably didn't realize that it was still in the bag. (It was a leftover gift bag from Christmas.)
After I got off the phone, I called Tayleigh to come talk to me. When I asked her if she meant to give the money away, she said yes. Because she wanted to be nice. You should have heard her reasoning. She already had a ten dollar bill and got another one for Christmas, and she didn't need two! She thought her friend could take it to the Dollar Store (read: Mecca).
So, I praised her for her generosity. And then I was kind of stumped. I tried to explain to her that it was great to want to give gifts to your friends, but maybe we shouldn't give away quite so much money. I tried to explain that while it was really nice, her friend didn't need that much money. And if she wanted to give her money away, we should find someone to give it to who really needed it.
Then we talked about saving our money for things like college. (Maybe I'm jumping the gun on that one, but that was the way I grew up. It was always assumed that I would go to college, and I did. I really want to encourage that with my own children.)
What would you do? I want to encourage her generosity, but I don't want her to give away all of her possessions. You see what I'm saying? Any advice.
Sent out into the void by Rachel Ward at 7:07 AM